Pentagram designed the new Big Ten logo.
Let’s start with the name. Yes, I know the Big Ten now has 12 teams. No, I don’t think the conference should change its name to reflect the actual number of teams in the conference— the name Big Ten means something and is a valuable part of the brand. So, good first move, Pentagram and Big Ten.
Next, let me split the logo into halves. I like the upper half, the BIG/B10 type treatment. It’s a bold, modern, and efficient stand-alone mark that looks great in application.
I don’t like the bottom half, the Ten. It looks forced and clunky. It doesn’t feel natural. Yeah, it uses negative space, but I don’t think you should use negative space for negative space’s sake— design should be purposeful. Maybe Pentagram used negative space as an homage to the old Big Ten logo, seen in image #6. The old logo was definitely aging, but it had character— and realizing the 11 was hidden in negative space was always a pleasant surprise. That being said, I don’t think the new logo should be obliged to hide a 12 somewhere. Again— design with purpose.
Finally, cyan. Is cyan the official color of the new Big Ten? It feels neither academic nor athletic. It feels like the Big Ten is reaching out to the hip, young MTV/VH1 demographic. Will the colors change when applied to specific schools?
My only issue is with the Ten. Personally, I would have scrapped the Ten if it wasn’t perfect. If you have to force something, force the BIG/B10 as a stand-alone. I can come around on new, I just have a hard time coming around on clunky.
I wonder what other designers think of the logo. Does knowing Pentagram designed this affect your opinion? What if I told you a sophomore design student made this? Thoughts?